By Nicholas Grube
Triplicate staff writer
When the Crescent City Council filled a vacancy in their group Thursday, they found comfort through familiarity.
With a three-fourths vote, the council appointed Richard Enea, a former council member, to replace Herb Kolodner, who resigned in early May.
"We had six very good candidates," Mayor Dennis Burns said before voting for Enea. "We needed to select someone tonight so we can try to get on with business."
During his interview, Enea who was appointed to his previous term on the council from 2005 to 2006 said his three main goals as a council member would be blight clean-up, public safety and improving business and transportation. He referenced his experience, both as a former city council member and as a planning commissioner, when explaining to the council why he would be a good replacement for Kolodner.
"I've served on the council before...(and) I've gone to just about every single council meeting," Enea said. "I don't think that I have any obstacles (to overcome). I don't have the obstacle of trying to catch up or to start over."
He did, however, have to overcome the barrier of getting a majority vote from the four-person council.
The first vote was a split decision with Council Members Irene Tynes and Mike Scavuzzo voting for Enea's appointment to the group, while Council Member Kelly Schellong and Burns voted against it.
After a failed attempt to appoint another candidate, Kathryn Murray, Tynes urged the council to appoint one of the applicants so as not to force an election, which she said would delay filling the vacancy and cost the city and its residents more money. "I am not sending this out to election," Tynes said. "I don't think that's responsible of us."
So on the second try to appoint Enea, most of the council approved, with the sole exception of Schellong.
"We are representing what the citizens of Crescent City want," Schellong said, "and I've heard that message loud and clear."
Schellong ran against Enea in last November's elections and won. This, she said, is why she didn't vote for Enea because, her constituents didn't elect him in the first place, and voted not to have him on the council.
"I think the people have already spoken," Schellong said. "I feel that I was representing what the community wants."
Which is why, she said, she had N. Charles Slert, a Crescent City architect, on the top of her list. "I think he would bring a different outlook to the people with fresh ideas and new perspectives."
Instead Crescent City residents will have a familiar face making decisions for them for the next 18 months.
"I believe that Richard has the capabilities, stature and knowledge," Scavuzzo said after the decision to appoint Enea. "Richard would make a good compliment (to the council)."
Enea will be sworn into office at the city council's next budget workshop, which is scheduled for June 4.